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House of Commons Hansard #89 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was application.

Topics

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

1:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

In my opinion the nays have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Call in the members.

And the bells having rung:

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

1:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The division stands deferred until tomorrow before private members' business.

The House will now resume with the remaining business under routine proceedings. We are under the rubric of motions. The hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader.

National DefenceCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

1:05 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, there have been consultations among all parties in the House and I believe you would find unanimous consent for the following travel motion. I move:

That, in relation to its study of health services provided to Canadian Force personnel, 12 members of the Standing Committee on National Defence be authorized to travel to Wainwright, Alberta in May 2008 and to Quebec City, Quebec in June 2008, and that the necessary staff accompany the committee.

(Motion agreed to)

Fisheries and OceansCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

1:05 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, there have been consultations among all parties and I believe you also would find unanimous consent for the following travel motion. I move:

That, in relation to its study on small craft harbours, 12 members of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans be authorized to travel to Steveston, British Columbia, Port Hardy, British Columbia, Gimli, Manitoba, and the Bay of Quinte, Ontario, in May and June 2008, and that the necessary staff accompany the committee.

(Motion agreed to)

Unborn Victims of CrimePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 6th, 2008 / 1:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ken Epp Conservative Edmonton—Sherwood Park, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present many names on petitions in support of Bill C-484, the unborn victims of crime act. These petitions keep pouring in from all areas of the country. In this particular instance, I have over 2,500 names on the petitions I am presenting today.

These people are asking that Parliament pass Bill C-484. They mention specifically my name as the sponsor of the bill and are asking us to recognize in law the life of the child that the woman wants to give birth to, give life to and give love to.

Pet FoodPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

1:10 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, over half of Canadians have pets and they love their dogs and cats. These Canadians are very worried and alarmed that there is no federal department or agency responsible for monitoring or informing the public about potentially harmful pet food.

Canadians are aware that pet food sold in Canada has caused harm to animals. The United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union all have regulations for the sale and manufacturing of pet food. The petitioners are calling upon the government to create mandatory regulations and inspections to ensure the quality and safety of pet food here in Canada.

Income TrustsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

1:10 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present this income trust broken promise petition on behalf of a large number of petitioners from Edmonton, Alberta. The petitioners remember the Prime Minister boasting about his apparent commitment to accountability when he said that the greatest fraud is a promise not kept. The petitioners remind the Prime Minister--

Income TrustsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

1:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ken Epp Conservative Edmonton—Sherwood Park, AB

Where is the $40 million?

Income TrustsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

1:10 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Where is the $40 million? There's a good question.

Income TrustsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

1:10 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, if the members are shouting me down, I know I am on the right track. The petitioners remind the Prime Minister that he promised never to tax income trusts but he recklessly broke that promise by imposing a 31.5% punitive tax which permanently wiped over $25 billion of the hard-earned retirement savings of over two million Canadians, particularly seniors.

The petitioners therefore call upon the Conservative minority government, first, to admit that the decision to tax income trusts was based on flawed methodology and incorrect assumptions, as shown by the finance committee; second, to apologize to those unfairly harmed--

Income TrustsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

1:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. It sounds like the hon. member might be reading the petition, which he of course knows he cannot do. He is supposed to summarize it.

The hon. member for Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar.

Canada Pension PlanPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

1:10 p.m.

Conservative

Carol Skelton Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to present this petition on behalf of Saskatchewan residents. They are asking that Parliament ensure that interest is paid on all Canada pension plan benefit underpayments.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

1:10 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 222, 227 and 228.

Question No. 222Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

1:10 p.m.

Independent

Bill Casey Independent Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

With respect to the government’s efforts to improve or upgrade the Victoria-class submarine fleet so that the ships are more environmentally friendly: (a) what projects are currently underway by the Navy to ensure that the diesel engines used by the Victoria-class submarines will produce less amounts of harmful pollutants; (b) has the government made any efforts or conducted studies to find suitable alternative fuels for the diesel engines to make their emissions less harmful; (c) has the Navy succeeded in retrofitting the submarine fleet with appropriate air conditioning and other refrigerant systems so that they will be ozone friendly and, if so, what was the total cost of these improvements; (d) what is the current deadline of the Department of National Defence to replace ozone depleting substances on the Victoria-class submarines; and (e) what other improvements or upgrades are planned for the Victoria-class submarines to make them more environmentally friendly and how much has the government budgeted for these improvements?

Question No. 222Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

1:10 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, in response to a) The navy has the following program in place to ensure that emissions from the diesel engines used by the Victoria-class submarines are minimized:

1. Inspections of the Victoria-class submarines are conducted approximately once a year through the marine diesel inspection program. These inspections include electronic engine analysis, to ensure that the engines operate at peak performance and that engine emissions are minimized.

In response to b) "Alternative" fuels have not been considered for submarine use due to their minimal availability and the inherent risk to submarine operations.

Like all Canadian naval vessels, the Victoria-class submarines use a high quality marine diesel fuel that meets the requirements for naval engines and is suitable for interchange with other navies when necessary. In June 2007, Environment Canada regulations came into force reducing the amount of sulphur permissible in marine fuels to 500 parts per million. Fuel procured for the Canadian navy meets this limit, and much of it is far below this limit. It should be noted that the previous specified limit was 5000 parts per million. This change means that emissions of sulphur oxides are now much less.

In response to c) The following projects will ensure that the Victoria-Class submarines’ air conditioning and refrigerant systems are more ozone friendly:

1. The navy will be converting the chilled water system to a more ozone friendly refrigerant, specifically, a gas known as R134a. Since this conversion requires major equipment to be removed from the submarine, it must occur during extended docking work periods. The first vessel to be converted will be HMCS Chicoutimi. The project is expected to cost $5 million for all four submarines.

2. RS-24 is a non-ozone depleting refrigerant blend recently developed as a temporary replacement for R12. Investigations are underway to determine the possibility of using this refrigerant in the submarines as an interim measure to replace R12 while the full conversion project described above is developed and implemented. The expected cost of this project is $200,000 for all four submarines.

3. The Navy is also converting the food refrigerant systems on the Victoria-Class submarines. This conversion will be scheduled during minor maintenance periods and is expected to be complete by 2010. This project is expected to cost $3 million for all four submarines.

In response to d) There is no mandated deadline to replace the fire extinguishing agent halon on the Victoria-class submarines: however, the halon replacement project is expected to be completed by 2012. Under the halon replacement project, halon will be replaced with another fire extinguishing agent on all four submarines by 2012. The estimated cost is approximately $5 million for all four submarines. The mandated deadline for the replacement of R12 refrigerant is 01 Jan 2015; however, the Department of National Defence is working towards having R12 replaced by 01 Jan 2010.

In response to e) In addition to the upgrades mentioned above, under the maritime environmental protection program, the Department of National Defence intends to install oily water separators in order to ensure the oil content of discharged waste water meets the International Maritime Organization regulated limit. The cost of the installations are expected to be approximately $1.5 million for all four submarines.

Question No. 227Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

1:10 p.m.

Independent

Bill Casey Independent Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

With regard to the Victoria In-Service Support Contract: (a) if Industrial and Regional Benefits evaluations were carried out by representatives from Industry Canada and the regional development agencies as part of the contracting process, were representatives of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) involved in these evaluations and, if so, when were they written and what are the detailed reasons as to why the Agency did not conduct any analysis on the potential impacts to employment or economic development to the Atlantic Canada region, as stated in the government's answer to written question Q-182; and (b) when were the ACOA evaluations approved and transmitted to Public Works and Government Services Canada?

Question No. 227Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

1:10 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, insofar as the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, ACOA, is concerned, with respect to Question Q-227(a), the industrial and regional benefits, IRB, evaluation related to the Victoria in-service support bids was described by Industry Canada in its response to Question Q-182 (a). A representative of ACOA participated in the process. An analysis as described in Question Q-182 (c) was not a requirement associated with the Victoria in-service support request for proposals. Consequently, such an analysis could not be conducted. A single report detailing the results of the IRB evaluation was prepared by Industry Canada upon completion of the evaluation, and transmitted to Public Works and Government Services Canada. With respect to Question Q-227 (b), as no discrete ACOA evaluation was conducted, there was no ACOA report to transmit to PWGSC.

Question No. 228Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

1:10 p.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

With regard to marriages of convenience, orchestrated for personal gain or for gaining entry into Canada as a landed immigrant: (a) has the minister or her officials taken any action to address this issue; (b) has the Minister, or her predecessor, implemented any policies or procedures to alleviate the concerns associated with marriages of convenience; (c) is the Minister of the view that marriages of convenience that are perpetrated in Canada are growing in numbers beyond normal demographics or immigration patterns; (d) what systems, processes, or procedures are in place to deal specifically with complaints from the victims of marriage fraud; and (e) what action is being taken to restore the confidence of the victims of marriages of convenience that the government is working effectively and efficiently on their behalf?

Question No. 228Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

1:10 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, insofar as Citizenship and Immigration Canada is concerned, in response to a) Citizenship and Immigration Canada, CIC, and the Canada Border Services Agency, CBSA, are both concerned about marriages of convenience. Together, the departments are engaged in the investigation of these cases. CIC is currently analyzing the issue of marriages of convenience cases and will be providing recommendations on how to better address this issue.

A survey and a case assessment tool were created and distributed to CIC and CBSA regional offices in order to identify gaps. In addition, CIC developed a strategic anti-fraud action plan in May 2007, addressing key issues such as training and guidelines. It outlines the next steps in combating marriages of convenience. This includes updating and modifying the anti-fraud manual and defining fraud investigations regarding marriages of convenience. Furthermore, in 2007 CIC worked alongside the B.C. government in the production of a publication to sensitize the public on the financial responsibilities of a family class sponsorship and impact of fraudulent marriages.

In response to b) Relationships of convenience are specifically prohibited in section 4 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. In response to the survey of September 2007, both CIC and CBSA put forth numerous recommendations that they felt could help solve the marriage of convenience problem. Some of these recommendations include: training on how to properly conduct an investigation; interviewing the subject and the sponsor in detail; and having detailed notes from the interview.

All the solutions recommended by both CIC and CBSA will be studied closely in order to implement policies and procedures that would best alleviate the concerns associated with marriages of convenience.

In response to c) Quantifying the rate of marriage fraud is difficult as relationships can break down at any time in a marriage, from the date of entry to Canada to several years into the marriage. CIC takes all tips, complaints, and reports of alleged marriage of convenience seriously and investigates where there is sufficient information to do so.

In response to d) The work that CIC does concerning marriages of convenience focuses primarily on preventing people involved in marriage fraud from getting to Canada. This pro-active approach, rather than a re-active one, protects Canadian citizens and permanent residents from becoming victims by taking steps to deny permanent resident visas to foreign nationals who enter into marriages of convenience. When a sponsor becomes a victim, he or she may contact CIC or CBSA and provide information. Where sufficient information is obtained, CIC and CBSA may open a marriage of convenience investigation that could potentially result in the loss of permanent resident status for the sponsored individual.

In response to e) The Immigration Refugee Protection Act, IRPA, the regulations and the overseas processing manual all have references prohibiting relationships of convenience to prevent persons in such relationships from immigrating to Canada

When a determination is made that there is indeed evidence to support an allegation, CIC then takes the appropriate steps to either refuse the case or to ensure that the individuals involved do not benefit or continue to benefit from their actions. Individuals who have entered Canada under false pretenses could be subject to removal.

Several actions have been taken to address this issue. A survey and a case assessment tool were created and distributed to CIC and CBSA regional offices in order to identify gaps. In addition, CIC developed a strategic anti-fraud action plan in May 2007, addressing key issues such as training and guidelines. It outlines the next steps in combating marriages of convenience. This includes updating and modifying the anti-fraud manual and defining fraud investigations regarding marriages of convenience. Furthermore, in 2007 CIC worked alongside the B.C. government in the production of a publication to sensitize the public on the financial responsibilities of a family class sponsorship and impact of fraudulent marriages. As well, CIC’s website informs clients of the legal obligations of a sponsorship and the importance of the responsibility for ensuring a marriage is genuine.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

1:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

1:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

1:10 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, if Questions Nos. 226 and 246 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

1:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

1:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 226Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

1:10 p.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

With regard to collateralized debt obligations (CDO’s) and the sub-prime mortgage credit crisis in the North American financial sector: (a) in 2007, was the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) aware of the exposure of financial institutions in Canada to CDO’s, and specifically sub-prime mortgages; (b) when it became aware of the exposure of Canadian banks to sub-prime mortgages, how did OSFI evaluate the risk of these CDO’s in the context of the solvency, liquidity and stability of Canada’s financial institutions; (c) did OSFI undertake any sensitivity analysis to assess the impact of factors such as interest rate changes, economic slowdown or job losses and property market declines on the viability of sub-prime mortgages; (d) were CDO’s adequately secured or insured by Canada’s chartered banks, and were these CDO instruments appropriately rated by the rating agencies; (e) given the recent losses or write downs by chartered Canadian banks, what action is the OSFI taking to safeguard Canada’s financial sector, its depositors and shareholders; and (f) what steps is the Minister of Finance taking to address this issue, and to ensure that this type of situation does not occur again?